EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE FAMOUS AND UNIQUE BRATTLEBORO PROVISIONAL STAMP WITH COMPLETE IMPRINT -- FROM THE ORIGINAL CHUBBUCK SHEET AND THE KEYSTONE OF THE LAPHAM-COLSON-WALL RECONSTRUCTION. THIS IS THE ONLY UNITED STATES POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE WITH AN IMPRINT.
Of the 52 Brattleboro provisional stamps recorded by Wall (32 off cover and 20 stamps on 19 covers), only five are from Position 8, below which the imprint is engraved. Two of the five are off cover, and three are on covers, including one cut in at bottom and not showing any part of the imprint. Of the five Position 8 stamps, only the example offered here has a complete imprint; three others show portions of the letters.
This stamp comes from the sheet retained by the printer, Thomas Chubbuck, who sold three stamps to collectors before selling the remaining block of seven to L. H. Bragg in September 1870. Bragg, in turn, sold the block to John W. Scott. The stamps from the Chubbuck block were eventually cut apart and sold to different collectors. In the 1920's Raymond W. Lapham, with the professional help of Warren H. Colson, reconstructed the Brattleboro plate positions, including some stamps from the Chubbuck sheet. The unique imprint stamp was reported by Fred J. Melville in the September 1922 Stamp Lover (p. 64); its owner was identified as Henry C. Gibson, who presumably sold it to Lapham through Colson (see "The Plating of the Brattleboros", Calvet M. Hahn, Collectors Club Philatelist, Mar.-Apr. 1988). Since then, it has always been part of the Lapham-Colson reconstruction, which changed owners in various sales. It appeared at auction in the Christie's October 1989 sale of the Weill Brothers' stock and was sold as part of the reconstruction. In the 2000 Siegel Rarities sale this stamp was offered for the first time outside of the reconstruction, where it was acquired by Mr. Wingate. Collectors now have the opportunity to acquire what is widely regarded as the most outstanding single Brattleboro provisional stamp in existence.
Ex Lapham, Colson, Gibson, Weill and Wall. With 2000 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE RARE MILLBURY, MASSACHUSETTS, POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL. ONLY EIGHTEEN EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED, INCLUDING NINE USED ON PIECE OR OFF COVER.
The 5c stamp issued by Millbury postmaster Asa Holman is one of two United States provisionals with a portrait (George Washington in both cases). It is also unusual in that the designation "Post Office" appears without any town name, a characteristic in common with the Baltimore and Boscawen provisionals.
Our census of the Millbury provisional is available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/7X1 .
Census No. 7X1-CAN-05. Ex Worthington, Gibson and Lyons. With 1973 and 1998 P.F. certificates.
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL SOUND UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL WITH THE INITIALS CONNECTED.
With 1975 and 1990 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE. A RARE UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL WITH THE "A.C.M." SIGNATURE. ESPECIALLY RARE IN UNUSED CONDITION.
The A.C.M. initials with the periods are believed to have been written by Marcena Monson, brother of Alonzo C. Monson. We have offered only two others in unused condition since 1994 and in all of our Rarities sales.
Ex Dr. Morris. With 1992 P.F. certificate stating pelure paper
VERY FINE. A DESIRABLE SOUND UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL WITHOUT SIGNATURE.
We have offered only one with original gum since keeping computerized records (realized $22,000 hammer in our 2012 Frelinghuysen sale). The example offered here, with four margins and in sound condition, is a great rarity.
With 1991 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM EXAMPLE OF THE NEW YORK POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON BLUE WOVE PAPER. EXCEEDINGLY RARE IN SOUND CONDITION AND WITHOUT A PEN CANCELLATION.
The last printing of the New York provisional was furnished on January 7, 1847, when 100 sheets were delivered. Philip T. Wall believes that most of the stamps on Gray paper (Scott 9X3) and Blue paper (Scott 9X2) come from this last printing.
With 1961 and 1998 P.F. certificates, the former as 9X1a variety
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE FOUR-MARGIN UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GREENISH PAPER.
The St. Louis "Bears" provisionals are rare in unused (or uncancelled) condition. Only a few of the 5c value are known unused and almost all are on Greenish paper. This is the first with four margins we have offered since 2010.
Ex "Troy" and Faiman. With 1983 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT ST. LOUIS PROVISIONAL ON GREENISH PAPER.
With 1965 and 1999 P.F. certificates
FINE. A SCARCE SOUND FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GREENISH PAPER.
With 1994 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A RARE SOUND FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ISSUE ON GRAY LILAC PAPER. ONLY ONE POSITION ON THIS STATE OF THE PLATE IS A 5-CENT STAMP. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE CANCELLED SOLELY BY THE RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP.
The St. Louis "Bears" stamps were printed from a single plate of six subjects (two horizontal by three vertical) that was modified twice to change the denominations of two positions. The original plate contained three 5c stamps at left and three 10c stamps at right. All stamps from the first state of the plate were printed on Greenish paper. The plate was then altered by burnishing out the "5" on Positions 1 and 3 and engraving a new "20" denomination. A small printing on Greenish paper was made from this altered plate. 5c stamps (Position 5) and 10c stamps (Positions 2/4/6) on Greenish Paper cannot usually be identified as original or altered plate impressions (the 20c on Greenish paper is a great rarity). The larger portion of stamps from the altered plate are on Gray Lilac paper. However, because only one of six subjects was a 5c value, the 5c on Gray Lilac is an extremely rare stamp -- perhaps even rarer than the 20c on Gray Lilac. The plate was modified again by burnishing out each "20" and engraving the old "5" denomination (third state). At the time of this second alteration, a large ball was engraved inside the end curl of the numeral "5" on Position 5. As far as we know, all stamps from the third state of the plate were printed on a very thin pelure paper. These were the last stamps used before the 1847 Issue was placed on sale in St. Louis.
Sound examples of this issue are rare, and this stamp has margins on all sides. It is also cancelled solely by a red circular datestamp, barely visible at bottom right, so the stamp appears unused. We have offered only one other cancelled solely by the circular datestamp since keeping computerized records, and the other has a clearly visible fault.
Ex Twigg-Smith. With 2001 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GRAY LILAC PAPER.
With 1998 P.F. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. OUR RECORDS INDICATE ONLY TWO OTHER EXAMPLES OF THE 20-CENT ST. LOUIS POSTMASTER'S PROVISIONAL ON GRAY LILAC PAPER EXIST OFF COVER WITH A RED TOWN DATESTAMP AND WITHOUT A PEN CANCEL.
The census of 20c St. Louis Bears published in the Faiman catalogue (Bennett, Oct. 31, 2003) contains twelve off-cover singles. Virtually all have pen cancels.
Ex Ferrary. With 1967 and 1997 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT ST. LOUIS "BEARS" PROVISIONAL ON PELURE PAPER. ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE CANCELLED SOLELY BY THE RED CIRCULAR DATESTAMP, AND ACCOMPANIED BY THE ORIGINAL PIECE OF COVER.
Pelure paper was used for the last printing after the 20c denomination on Positions 1 and 3 was burnished out and the 5c values were re-engraved. At the time of this modification to the plate, Position 5 was slightly altered by adding a dot within the bottom ball of the figure "5", as visible on this example. Pelure stamps are almost always faulty and often seriously defective.
A survey of our Levi records and auction catalogues produced a tally of approximately 35 examples of the 5c Pelure off and on cover. The vast majority have faults or margins cutting into the design. Most are pen cancelled.
Ex Storrow, Colonel Green (as a full cover) and Faiman. With 1978 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THE 10-CENT ON PELURE PAPER IS ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST DIFFICULT OF ALL ST. LOUIS BEAR PROVISIONALS TO OBTAIN IN SOUND CONDITION WITH WIDE MARGINS. THIS STAMP IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE.
A survey of our Levi records and auction catalogues produced a tally of approximately 35 examples of the 10c Pelure off and on cover. The vast majority of these stamps have faults, many severe, or margins cutting into the design. This is one of the finest we have encountered. This is also the first we have offered since 2013.
Ex Twigg-Smith. Signed in pencil and with light blue backstamp. With 1953 and 1991 P.F. certificates